Half of the latest inflation increase is due to rising rent

The morning meeting with Al Tompkins is a daily Poynter briefing with story ideas to consider and a more contemporary context for journalists, written by Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty. Sign up here to have it delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.

If America is to get inflation under control, it needs to address the biggest factor that contributed to January’s inflation surge: rental/housing costs.

Rent accounts for about 32% of the CPI equation, but rent increases accounted for more than half of January’s inflation rate. In other words, rental costs outweigh other rising costs. Given how much of your income goes towards rent, overall inflation rates will remain high unless we get rent levels under control. The trend is steadily upwards.

(trade economics)

Some of the cities with the fastest growing rents are cities you might not expect to make the list, like Indianapolis, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Cleveland.

(CoStar Group)

(CoStar Group)

Another notable trend you’ll find in this week’s CPI data: Used car prices have fallen more than 11% over the past year.

Learn more about why rental prices are so high:

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that in 2021, nearly six in 10 teenage girls reported experiencing persistent sadness. One in three teenage girls reported suicidal thoughts. The rate in boys was also high, but half that in teenage girls. The report said:

As we have seen in the 10 years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, the overall mental health of high school students continues to deteriorate, with more than 40% of high school students feeling so sad or hopeless that they have been unable to go about their regular activities, at least for at least two weeks in the previous year – a possible indication of experiencing depressive symptoms. We also saw a significant increase in the percentage of adolescents who were seriously considering suicide, made a suicide plan, and attempted suicide.

In 2021, almost 30% of female students have drunk alcohol in the last 30 days. Almost 20% of female students have experienced sexual violence at the hands of someone in the past year, and 14% have ever been physically coerced into having sex. Although these numbers are high, the rates of poor mental health and suicidal thoughts and behavior are even higher.

In 2021, nearly 60% of female college students experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in the past year, and nearly 25% planned suicide.

The CDC said the mental health of young LGBTQ+ people is even more of a concern:

LGBQ+ students and students with same-sex partners are more likely than their peers to have used or abused all of the substances listed in this report (i.e., ever used selected illicit drugs, ever or current abuse of prescription opioids and current alcohol, marijuana, and use of electronic vaping products) . They also experienced all forms of violence significantly more often.

The differences in mental health compared to their peers are significant. Nearly 70% of LGBQ+ students experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in the past year, and more than 50% experienced poor mental health in the past 30 days. Almost 25% have attempted suicide in the past year.

There are some differences in teen mental health by race:

Although Black students were less likely to report poor mental health and persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness than some other student groups, they were significantly more likely than Asian, Hispanic, and White students to have attempted suicide.

See reports from NBC News, The New York Times, Fox News, NPR, PBS and CNN.

The same CDC poll says the percentage of teens having sex is falling. It continues a steady decline year after year for a decade. But among those who are sexually active, only 52% say they used a condom the last time they had sex.


The percentages of straight and LGBTQ+ students who reported being sexually active are about the same (29% and 33%, respectively). mixed race students.

Former Republican Gov. of South Carolina Nikki Haley announced that she is running for the Republican nomination for president, and presenters everywhere told viewers that she was “throwing her hat in the ring.” I was wondering where the odd phrase came from as few candidates have worn hats since John Kennedy.

The phrase has its roots in boxing at a time when you could throw your hat in the ring if you wanted to fight someone and a referee would acknowledge the challenge. English-Grammar-Lessons.com adds:

“The 1805 issue of Sporting Magazine: “Belcher seemed confident of success [in a boxing match]and threw his hat in the ring as an act of defiance to his adversary.”

The Mirror of Taste published in 1810: ‘A young chap threw his hat into the ring and, when the lame umpire called ‘a challenge’, obeyed, and outfitted the challenger for the match. … He then paced around the ring until a second hat was thrown in and the umpire shouted, “The challenge is answered.”

According to Word Histories, the first mention may date back to 1804.

The first clue linking the “hat in the ring” to presidential politics may have been Teddy Roosevelt, who told a journalist in 1912, “My hat is in the ring; the fight goes on and I’m stripped to the bone.” Roosevelt was an avid boxer, so the term would have been familiar to him. He is also the only president to wear a brown belt in judo.

I think it’s time for Haley to “campaign”. She will do well to remember that “the only poll that matters is on Election Day,” but she is a “seasoned campaigner for the people” and will fight the notion that she is a “career politician.” . She will remind you that her “name is on the ballot, but this election is all about you,” she will fight for “the workers and middle-class families,” and as we know, “everything will come from the depend on turnout.” She will learn that election campaigns are “not just about the money” and that even when you’re behind, “every vote counts”.

By the way: The phrase “Let’s make America great again!” was first used by Ronald Reagan in 1980, then by Bill Clinton in 1992, before Donald Trump claimed in 2016 that the expression was his own.

Not getting enough? Read an annual list of the political clichés that became campaign themes here.


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